Would it really be the holiday season if we didn’t unearth our large collections of scented candles, filling our homes with just about every wintery, festive scent we can think of?
I, for one, love taking advantage of all the holiday candle sales at places like Yankee Candler and Bath and Body Works. I mean honestly, how can you pass up a deal like buy three, get three free? The holidays are the perfect time to stockpile all your winter apple, sugar plum, and evergreen products before they’re discontinued for another year.
But because we live on planet Earth and we simply can’t have nice things, a recent string of studies have revealed that lighting a candle in your home might not be as relaxing as you may think. In fact, it could be harming the health of not only you and your family but your pets as well.
While your favorite candles may smell good to you, their chemical makeup could be making you sick.
According to MCS-America, most fragranced products contain anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 different chemicals. Even more alarming is the idea that despite the U.S. National Academy of Science have declared that fragrances should undergo neurotoxicity testing, most of the products on the market have not undergone testing to make sure that they’re safe for humans.
Many of these chemicals have also been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as being potentially hazardous.
What makes scented candles so horrible for humans is the exhaust given off by these candles. The exhaust is regularly adding harmful toxins into your home, oftentimes without our knowing. Scented candles are made from paraffin, which is a petroleum-based product.
When burned, aroma-therapy candles can be even more dangerous than your basic scented three-wick.
In a 2009 report from South Carolina State University, lead researcher and chemistry professor Dr. Ruhullah Massoudi addressed the risks surrounding candles containing paraffins. “For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies, and even asthma.”